Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Agnes Marin

 Murder of Agnes, "She should not die"

Armel Marin, the grandfather of the young Agnes, raped and murdered last Wednesday in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon (Haute-Loire) estimated that there was "nothing to expect" the appointment on Monday between the ministers.

Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Michel Mercier Minister of Justice, Claude Gueant and Luc Chatel, the respective counterparts of the Interior and of Education, had an appointment on Monday to understand how such an act (rape and the the murder of Agnes Marin) has been made possible in Chambon-sur-Lignon (Haute-Loire). Matthew, a 17 year old college-educated college Cévenol with the young Agnes Marin, had already violated in the past , in August 2010 in the Gard another teenager. He had made four months in custody before his judicial respect to the letter. But Sunday, the school announced its indignation , not according to his direction all the elements of the case of the young man, including the nature of his conviction.

The teenager should not have been there

Interviewed on BFM TV, Armel Marin, the grandfather of Agnes, aged 13, said there was "nothing to expect" the meeting organized by the Prime Minister with his ministers. "Agnes should not die. The current government has created four years ago three education centers closed. If this young man was put into an education center closed, he would not have been there, he would not have killed Agnes, "he has said.


Murder of Agnes: "Every tragedy, there is a law"

VIDEOS - MAINTENANCE Who is responsible? Should we legislate? Should we "lock up" minors in closed educational center? Should we lift the confidentiality of investigations and notify the schools? Matthew Bonduelle, judge in Bobigny (Seine-Saint-Denis) and Secretary General of the Union of Magistrates answered questions from FranceSoir.fr.

Videos Available Here!

Agnes Marin



France left reeling after freed teenage rapist allowed into school where he abused, killed and burned 13-year-old girl

The rape and murder of a 13-year-old schoolgirl has led to uproar in France after it was revealed that the alleged teenage killer was admitted to an up-scale boarding school despite a previous rape charge.

The burned body of Agnes Marin was found in woodland near the College-lycee Cevenol International in central France on Friday.

A 17-year-old boy, identified only as Mathieu, was arrested after he allegedly confessed to 'raping and burning' Agnes - after luring her into woodland on Wednesday by suggesting they pick mushrooms together.

Investigating police have said the murder was particularly brutal, with the killer using a number of 'objects' to kill Agnes.

But the girl's family, the French public and education and legal authorities reacted in horror when it was revealed Mathieu was conditionally freed on charges of rape less than a year ago. 

He was jailed for the rape of a minor in 2010, released under supervision after four months.   

The Marin family have accused the school of knowing Mathieu's criminal history but allowing him to become a pupil anyway - an allegation the school denies.

Agnes's devastated mother, Paola, told a radio station that the murder 'could have been avoided with a little less negligence', while father Frederic said: 'The school should have been a bit more vigilant.' 

But the school, in Le-Chambon-sur-Lignon, is denying specific knowledge of Mathieu's past - admitting that it knew of his criminal past but not what he was convicted of.

The school's head, Philippe Bauwens, said: 'If I had known, I would not have accepted him in our establishment, because we're not equipped.'

The school, with the motto 'Humanism and tolerance', said the tragedy was the result of failures in the legal system.

But prosecutor Jean-Yves Coquillat has defended the legal process, saying  psychiatric evaluations said Mathieu could be 'rehabilitated and did not show signs of being dangerous'. 

Furthermore, the boy was set free under strict conditions - that he was treated by a psychiatrist, as well as a psychologist at the school.

Mr Coquillat's comments suggested that the school - at the very least the school-appointed psychologist - must have had prior knowledge of Mathieu's history.

But Anne-Sylvie Debard, a member of the school's board of governors, said the problem lay with a lack of communication between state departments.

She added: 'There was a serious breakdown between what the school's management knew and what the national education system and the judiciary knew.'

The French media is understandably asking questions as to how Mathieu could have been placed among unwitting pupils, given his background. 

The case is especially sensitive for French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who recently pushed through tough laws to severely punish repeat offenders.  

Prime Minister Francois Fillon has promised to 'clarify possible malfunctioning of the penal system'.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brittany Kekedakis

St. Paul residents still seek answers after triple homicide

One of St. Paul's most horrific crimes in recent years remains unsolved. In late March, masked men broke into a North End home and shot a woman, her fiance, and the woman's 15-year-old daughter. 

All three died.

The victims' friends and family are putting on a benefit this Sunday to support the surviving grandparents.

St. Paul, Minn. — The 911 call came in just after 6:30 a.m. Friday March 23.

Two adults and one teenager were shot in their home by five masked men.

"They entered the house, the back door, and broke the door to get in," says St. Paul Police Department spokesman Tom Walsh. "As soon as they get in the door begins the sequence of events that we're actually not talking about."

Police have released few details. They say the killings were targeted. There's been speculation that it was gang-related. But police won't confirm that. Two young children, ages 7 and 10, were in the house at the time but escaped unharmed.

The victims -- Brittany Kekedakis, 15, her mother Ria McLay, and McLay's fiance Telly Saunders were probably asleep, or maybe getting Britanny ready for school at Como Senior High where she was a sophomore.

In these waning days of the school year, many of the 1,300 students at Como are looking forward to summer. But some students are still back at March 23, and what happened to their friend Brittany.
"There's no getting past this. She's gone and she's not coming back and it still hurts," says Nieckia Weinandt, 16, as she sits with other students in the school library.

The students share stories about Brittany, and cry and comfort each other, putting an arm around a shoulder or holding hands.

Brittany's cousin Melissa Williams is devastated. She carries a canvas tote bag with a big picture of Brittany on it.

"When I was 4, I seen my uncle get killed," Williams says. "He was shot in the head, too. When I found out I didn't know what to do. I didn't want to picture her getting killed. Her or Ria."

The North End neighborhood of St. Paul is a rough area. Residents complain of drug dealing and gangs. Weinandt says the murders are still shocking.

"Brittany's house is three and a half blocks from my old place," Weinandt says. "Growing up I've seen people get shot in the head all the time. Beaten half to death, and people get beaten into comas. You think you'd get used to it, but when something like this happens to someone you know, and that you love and care about, it's like, you can't help but cry."

Four years ago, another Como student, Ben Doran, was beaten to death less than a mile from where Brittany was killed. Just after Ben's death, his mother, Maggie Doran, and her partner started a foundation to help other families of murder victims.

Doran says there are support groups to help. But she says losing somebody to murder means there's no such thing as "closure," "moving on" or being "healed."

"When I go to sleep at night, it still burns my stomach and my heart that he's gone," Doran says. "The foundation helps me to navigate and reach out to people like the victims of the triple homicide."

"That's Brittany. She was quite a fisherman," says Brian Hanmer as he looks at photos of Brittany. "She was a good kid. She was a friend to a lot of children who hung around at Como Park High School."

Hamner is sitting at his dining room table looking at a video he made. Hamner is a longtime family friend of Brittany and her mother.

Hamner has put together a CD of hundreds of photos of the family, with lots of smiling faces of Brittany and her mom mugging for the camera. Hamner says he'll show the CD this weekend at a benefit for the family.

Organizer Glen Garagiola says supporting the victims' family with a night of celebration and fundraising is something he, and those who knew the family, feel they must do.

"All this money that's being raised is being helped to pay for the burials," Garagiola says. "And if there is any money left over, grandma can put that in a trust fund for her kids, or do whatever she wants with her grandkids. Because I think now, definitely she feels now that every moment she has with her grandkids and her remaining children is very special. Don't let those moments go by."

Como Senior High School is planning to create a memorial to Brittany Kekedakis in a peace garden, near a plaque made for murdered student Ben Doran. For Brittany, they plan to plant a flowering tree with a large rock underneath it, where friends can take shade and solace in her memory.

Because the crime is still unsolved, the two siblings who witnessed the murders are being kept hidden from the public.

The St. Paul Police Department is offering a $22,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.